Nailed it: My First Client Experience on Codementor

Today I had my first client on Codementor which is a really cool service where you can, in minutes, be connected to real technical experts in a wide range of domain specializations. I was sitting at the kitchen table on my Macbook working on a personal side project when I received an email titled “Codementor Request $40/hr: laravel user authentication issues.” I thought to myself “I can do that, no problem.” The rate was lower than what I normally charged but I felt it was worth the chance to really take Codementor for a test drive.

Within about 3 minutes I was chatting directly with the client via Codementor’s built-in chat application. The client, another developer based in Rome, claimed to be experiencing authentication issues. After some questioning and viewing some source code samples it became obvious that the issue was not authentication-related but more of an issue with how JSON was being outputted from his API. We agreed start a session.

We went directly into the source-code live on his server because I had a feeling that the code being shared with me wasn’t an exact reflection of what was running live. Everything that was shown to me did not appear to have any unexpected output. I ended up discovering the problem was inside a composer package the developer had pulled-in but didn’t mention to have modified directly. He had overwritten the return to be echoed instead,  a common mistake and a very simple fix. After getting that knocked out he asked if I could help with finding out why his emails wouldn’t go out. This as well was a quick fix (flipped the encryption to TLS).

And finally, just before we were going to disconnect, he asked if I could make any recommendations to his codebase. I certainly obliged by live coding his user registration script to trigger an event which automatically dispatches email verifications. As you can see, what started out as one issue became a half hour of helping the client and teaching him something new in the process. I was really pleased by the overall experience. I am really looking forward to the next opportunity to be a codementor.

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